Happy Hour: Celebrating 20+ years following Beth as she follows Christ

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet.    It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

I want to encourage one of my closest friends; whom I’ve never met, Beth Moore. 

I advocate for women who are in, or are leaving, destructive marriages. What I’m seeing take place on the internet in recent months is nothing short of destructive theology and it’s targeted at women. It’s abuse. As I minister I tell the woman I’m meeting with and praying with, “You’re not crazy. You didn’t do anything to bring this on yourself.  You’re strong. You will survive this and come out stronger on the other side. I know you have moments when you feel like you can’t take any more but remember; Jesus lives to intercede for you so, don’t listen to or fear those who come against you. The distance makes no difference to Jesus; He is praying for you!”

“It is because of Jesus that anyone is set free. And remember, it is only in him that women gain true equality. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28.)” -Tim Fall

Twenty five years ago I had done the Bible studies Experiencing God by Blackaby and King and The Mind of Christ by Hunt and King. They left me hungry for more in-depth studies but I couldn’t find any.

Enter Beth Moore. For 20+ years she has been a godly influence in my life by encouraging me to read my Bible, pray God’s word, ask God questions while reading his word, spend time in praise and worship, disciple others, minister to others, be mission minded, pass on a spiritual heritage to my children, and be involved in my local church.Beth

I thank her for being real and transparent, being a humble servant, keeping her eyes focused completely on Jesus, not throwing in the towel when nay-sayers came against her, for knowing she isn’t perfect and sharing with her readers how God is growing her and working in her life, and for helping eager students dig into the word and find how God has carefully and purposefully woven a beautiful tapestry of His story throughout history while finding hidden treasures in His word.

I’ve followed Beth as she’s followed Christ. I’ve read and studied almost all of her books and studies. I checked for accuracy. I understand her heart for Jesus, and for women.  I feel like I know her and her family, and I’m a better woman because of it. I can’t imagine I would be as in love with Jesus had Beth not shown me the depth of relationship possible with God the Father, Jesus the son, and our comforter; the Holy Spirit.

I was so pleased, and changed, from spending time with God that I had a burning desire to pass on the love of studying the Bible to my children. My daughter had watched me do these studies for years and I often found her peeking over my shoulder to see what all the tears, laughter, and amazement were about, or to watch a video on-line with me when I was too sick from pregnancy to regularly attend a study at our church. By age 8, my daughter was asking when she could do the studies. If my memory serves me correctly, I lead 7 studies, written by Beth, during my daughter’s high school years. We hosted a mother-daughter study in our home and had between 14-18 moms and daughters every-other Wednesday night. It was some of the most beautiful treasure a mom’s heart could uncover. I’ll never regret the time, heart, tears, laughter, and ministry poured out during those studies. Everyone grew from participating in the studies!

Then my boys (currently ages 14 & 15) wanted to do the studies. I offered to take them to the bookstore to pick out something geared toward them, but they said, “No, we like Beth.” This week we finished our fourteenth in-depth study together; ten of which were written by Beth Moore, two by Lysa Terkeurst, one by Blackaby and King, one by Hunt and King, and the next two are by Priscilla Shirer.  After each study I give them the option to buy something written by a man but they have been pleased with their own personal growth in knowledge, prayer, relationship with the Lord, and zeal for the Lord that Beth’s studies offer.

Beth, you’ve made my life so much happier, joyful, purposeful, and loving as I’ve grown in love with Jesus through your hours of studying, praying, writing, and passing on your passion. I know Jesus loves you, delights in you, speaks to your heart, soul, mind and strength, and will continue to use you.

Happy weekend! Happy Hour!

Cheers! To Beth Moore and her contagious love for our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

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Happy Hour: What do you get?

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do.” A.C. Dixon   

Let’s keep going with this thought process…

 

When we rely on setting boundaries we get what boundaries can do.

When we rely on the legal system we get what the law can, or will, provide.

When we rely on the government we get what the government can do.

When we rely on money we get what money can do.

When we rely on friends we get what friends can do.

When we rely on our own wisdom we get what our limited thinking can provide.

When we rely on singing, preaching, or church we get what they can do.

 

 “But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” A.C. Dixon

 

I want what God can do!

I need what God can do!

How about you?

My favorite way to pray is to use God’s word; scripture, because it’s full of promises and precedence for us to pray. The words stay flat on the pages of our Bibles until we speak them. They are alive and active, sharper than any two edge sword when we turn them into prayer.

 

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword” Hebrews 4:12

 

Happy Hour: Cor-alatian (Life Plan)

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

Here is the plan I referenced in last week’s Happy Hour post. It’s the summation of verses from 2 Corinthians 8:10 and Galatians 6:10 (verses are listed at the bottom of this post). This is my doable Cor-alatian.

I had a need so I produced a way to meet my needs.

I’m married, homeschool my kids, minister to women in destructive relationships, suffer from multiple auto-immune diseases and other health issues, deal with the dailiness of life like everyone else, and…those are just the things I can publicly list.

Last year, after finishing our spring school semester I felt like my life was stuck in a rut. I wanted to be a more effective, purposeful teacher for my kids. I wanted to regain my strength and energy and not find myself sitting in front of the computer, once again, simply because I didn’t have the energy to do much else. I wanted to finish editing my memoir…and the list went on…

I used to be a highly organized, creative, energetic, administrative go-getter; yet even in my slowness, God still has a purpose for my life; personally, relationally, in the community, and for the Kingdom. I desperately wanted to regain a fraction of my former self and decided I needed to make a plan; a written plan. This would help me stay on track and would allow me to pull it out and read it as an encouraging reminder.

Please note that I did this on my own out of desperation. There are professional life coaches, counselors, and life planners who do this for a living. I’ve never used one; and they would probably get a humorous kick out of my little endeavor, but it’s working with my limited knowledge and my limited budget.

Yes, it is…it’s working for me! I haven’t arrived and I don’t live by it every single day, but it’s made a noticeable positive difference in all areas of my life.

COR-ALATIAN LIFE PLAN 

 

Am I satisfied with my life right now?

I’m know I’m not living to my fullest

 

What is going on in my life right now? What are my consistent roles in life?

  • School teaching is lacking
  • Writing book isn’t happening
  • Blogging is sporadic
  • Marriage – this should always be a mutually growing and serving endeavor
  • Health is poor with auto-immune diseases, tiredness, aches, headaches, illnesses
  • My quiet times with God are lacking and I know this is about my heart, soul, mind and strength condition

 

What makes me happy?

  • Basking in God’s presence and hearing from Him
  • Praying
  • Listening to hurting women and helping people
  • Writing
  • Educating people about fraudulent personalities and validating hurting women married to these types of men
  • Accomplishing a productive day in school
  • Using time wisely
  • Feeling healthy
  • Being with friends
  • Meaningful time with my family
  • Working out

 

What are the drains?

  • Destructive relationships
  • Poor health
  • My physical pace of life has slowed down and I can’t accomplish as much as I want to accomplish
  • Internet – wasting time

 

What isn’t working in my life?

  • Destructive relationships that I have no control over
  • Health
  • School schedule
  • My schedule
  • When I complain, lack self-control, or are negative I lose my strength for the moment and possibly for the day.

 

What would my ideal life look like? What would my future roles be in life? Future goals?

  • Healed relationships
  • Finish editing my book
  • A larger platform for ministering to abused women
  • A platform to testify to the power of prayer
  • Respond to life from a place of love; not frustration or anger
  • Change our state laws to better protect children caught in the middle of divorce from an abusive parent
  • Change our state laws to include fault based divorce
  • Succeeding with school schedule
  • Using time well
  • To feel fully engaged in purposeful living
  • Know how to set a healthy boundary and consequence when the need arises

What do I need to do to get that life?

  • Wake up refreshed; not tired and stressed
  • Quiet time before I leave my room
  • Breakfast
  • Get ready/watch listen to podcast each morning
  • Teach school
  • Clean for 20 minutes
  • Write/edit 1/2 hour
  • Check emails/messages /social media while eating lunch
  • Keep a list of internet work so I don’t get side-tracked when I surf the net
  • Organize, decorate, create art or furniture, or purge 30 minutes
  • Make healthy dinners for the entire family
  • Go to the gym
  • Return phone calls & messages
  • Write 1 hour
  • Have an office with privacy where I can keep my work accessible

 

What do I really want to accomplish in this life?

  • Homeschooling
  • Finishing my memoir and finding how God rewards me.

 

What kind of person do I want to be?

  • Real…in relating to and serving others
  • Faithful to God
  • Prayerful
  • Inspires others to pray

 

What is most important to me in life?

Now that my children have a relationship with the Lord, seeing them love the Lord, love others, and find godly mates to help them pass on their spiritual heritage. Serve others from a place of compassion, having purpose because of the painful things I’ve endured in life.

 

Why do I want whatever it is that I want?

There is nothing more important to me. I know I’m being obedient to God’s calling on my life.

 

How would I like to be remembered?

I sought the Lord with excitement. Listened well to others. Followed God with no regard to what others thought. Risked everything to hear and obey His voice. Lived with joy and purpose despite difficult circumstances and traumatic relationships.

 

What will my life be like if I never change the way it is right now? I will still be living a supernatural lifestyle to the glory of God. My kids will know I love them.

 

So then…

Seek hard. Listen well. Follow freely. Risk everything. LIVE NOW.

Galatians 6:9-10 says, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” (MSG)

I love this passage in 2 Cor. 8:10: “So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end, you come out even.” (MSG)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This has produced fruit in my life. I’m calmer, more focused and purposeful, utilizing my time sooo much better, keeping a tidier house, I have an office (Yay!), enjoying more ministry, and the best changes are; responding from a place of love; not frustration or anger and  practicing self-control so I stay positive rather than slipping into the negative. My heart, soul, mind and strength feel so refreshed in these areas.

The only item I’ve utterly failed at is having my Bible study in my room first thing in the morning. I usually manage to wake up and talk to God, but Bible study happens sometime between breakfast and 2:00 p.m.

If this kind of  plan will help you, please feel free to copy, paste, and change what works for you.

I hope it brings you happiness and produces a better, more purposeful life!

 

Happy Hour: Thrive despite difficult circumstances or relationships?

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or defeated? Do you feel like you have too many people, or circumstances, against you in life and they’re keeping you from thriving?

I believe we are called to live an abundant life no matter where we are planted. I know it’s easy to feel like we have too many stresses in our lives to do this, but I’ll let you in on a hush-hush fact our enemy doesn’t want us to know. We don’t need anyone else participating to live the abundant life God called us to live.

Thoughts like:

If my husband would…

If my children would…

If my parents would…

If my friend would…

If my boss would…

If my neighbor would…

If my president would…

I my church would…

 

Nope!

 

We are individually called to spiritual maturity; strength in God.

Do you feel like you’ve crashed and burned? Do you feel like you’re living in spiritual sickness? Are your dreams dead? Is your energy gone?

Please hear the tenderness and excitement in my voice.

God has something to say about this…here is a word from our Sponsor!

“…for each one should carry their own load.” Galatians 6:5 (NIV)

I especially like how The Message version states this concept.

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)

 

Do you know what this means? We can still enjoy a purposeful life despite what is going on around us!

 

God should be the center of our life; the hub from which all else has its being. Think of Him as being the gardener who plants the seed.  He puts the seed, His word, within us. Everything that grows from that seed has is origin in God and every new leaf or sprout stems from Him. Our responsibility is taking care of the soil. How do we care for the soil? We make sure it’s being watered, nurtured, and weeded. What we think about, what we believe, what we do, and what we allow in our life are ways we care for the soil of our soul. When we take responsibility for our environment we get our power back.

We can’t control people, but we can control what is happening inside of us. We can control much of what enters our mind.

God wants us to protect ourselves and our environment and I believe He honors that commitment by growing our little mustard seed of faith.

We can’t change the past, a spouse, a marriage, a divorce, a child, but we can give our self a healthy soul for moving forward!

Tune in next time when I will share a deliberate plan I made for empowering my life, and I’ll tell you how the plan is working. 

Fri-nally Happy Hour: Good or Best

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  Mark 11:7-10

How did the scene go from one of exaltation to “Crucify Him”?

The Jewish people knew the Old Testament scriptures. They knew their Messiah would enter on a donkey colt.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9

 

They knew He was the Messiah and they believed He was going to set them free from the Roman government. They wanted instant freedom from the tyranny of Rome. A King could do that for them, and Jesus was the prophesied King. Political freedom was theirs…or so they thought.

We know the rest of the story that they didn’t accept in faith.Easter

Jesus didn’t come to earth to put a ‘Band-Aid’ fix on a political problem. He came to give an everlasting answer and healing to the curse of death. An eternal victory over Satan and hell to all who accept the free gift of grace by placing their faith in the One and Only Son of God; Jesus Christ. No strings attached.

Most Jews were not interested in the eternal outlook; they wanted a King…there and then.

 

Enter us:

 

Are you living under some type of oppression? Are you in an impossible marriage? An impossible court battle? Are you court ordered to send your children to unsupervised visitations with their abuser; or worse, to live with their abuser? Do you still have to interact with someone who has threatened your life and/or the lives of your children? Are you frustrated, heart-broken, or enraged that family court does nothing to protect the innocent when it’s within their power to do so?

We want healing, safety, sanity, finances…now!

Do you want a King to release you from your Rome? Or do you need an Advocate who has a final, permanent solution in mind instead of a ‘Band-Aid’ fix?

I’ve walked a mile (and more) in your shoes. I wanted the instant fix, but I also knew God was calling me to trust Him. Wait on Him; and not just wait, but wait quietly on Him…really, truly the kind of trust that required waiting without losing my sanity. This required a lot of praying scripture out loud over the situation. Nothing can attempt to steal your sanity faster than not being able to keep your child/children safe.

Know and remember dear sojourner; Jesus lives to intercede for you, and for your children. He is working this out for the long-term. When you sincerely pray, God will answer; although His answer may come at  a different time and in an unexpected way.

May you find peace, hope, rest, renewal, and sanity in these truths.

 

Easter = new life.

 

 

Have a blessed and happy Easter celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri-nally Happy Hour: Power Shots

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

You know those bad days, bad moments, or bad thoughts you sometimes have?

I have them too.

Do you find yourself saying “I should be…

I shouldn’t do that.

I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should know better.

I should…

Or, if Satan would just leave me alone!”

He’s worked overtime trying to destroy me for most of my life, but I don’t blame every hurt, inconvenience, attack, or bad decision on him. Sometimes I’m capable of cultivating my own problems or focusing on unhealthy emotions.

So when I notice a pattern of negative thinking entering my daily thought life…again…and feel defeated by it, I decide to name the problem and claim God’s promise. This requires simple repetition.

It goes like this: I noticed I was reacting in anger toward my kids instead of coming to them in an attitude of grace as a teachable moment. No doubt, it was anger…and it was feeling pretty good…in a bad way. Seriously, it feels good to be angry sometimes! Do you ever feel like that? 

So I named it; anger. Then spoke out loud “God, I feel a spirit of anger in me and around me. This isn’t from You. You have not given me a spirit of anger, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1: 7.

Another day I had a situation causing fear so I named it. “Father, I’m sensing a spirit of fear. You haven’tI Timothy 1 7 given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  I believe you and I receive it.”

Then…I was confused over someone’s behavior and was taking it personally. “Lord, I’m confused and I know you didn’t give me a spirit of confusion, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I’m happy to have power, love, and a sound mind!”

The emotion that tries to take me over most often is anxiety. Anxiety is not my friend and may not participate in my life no matter how many times it tries. “God, anxiety wants to take over again! You did not give me a spirit of anxiety, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I’m kicking anxiety into the trash. Thank You for power, love, and a sound mind.”

Now that I think of it; I experienced this 16 years ago when I was besieged by a new situation in my life. I had an overwhelming sense of something; something debilitating…so I asked Jesus what it was because I knew it wasn’t from Him. The answer came to my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Shame. Shame? Yes, it was shame and it wasn’t my shame. That was a lie straight from the father of lies; Satan. It was an act someone committed against me. I named it. Shame. “Jesus, this is not from You. You did not give me a spirit of shame, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The feeling of shame instantly left, the tears stopped, and joy returned.

Every time I practice this simple application it works. Our job is to pray. God‘s job is to act on behalf of our prayers.  He’s always listening and always working in the lives of believers.

Praying the word out loud is like receiving an instant power shot. It centers me on God and His strength and healing rather than on my inadequacies and emotions. It’s faith in action. I’m telling ya, something changes when I practice this and it works. God works!

Fri-nally Happy Hour: Victory over life’s storms

 

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

Let’s turn an unhappy truth into a positive truth!

That person who has rejected you … mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, friend, co-worker…you know which person. Their rejection does not exempt you from God’s love for you. Ever!

So, don’t spend your day reliving the depressing, sad thoughts in your mind. These old patterns may seem comfortable and familiar, but they lead to emptiness. Spend your day pursuing Jesus.

Complaining won’t change your situation, but thankfulness can change your perspective.

Don’t spend your day finding comfort in T.V., social media, or addictions. Do you want to use technology (or your addiction) and finish the day feeling numb, wasted, and defeated? Or…do you want to spend time in God’s word and in prayer, and feel cherished, renewed, loved, and filled with purpose?

Your quiet time each day radiates your life in this sometimes dark world. It’s like walking through your house and turning on light, by light, by light.  Ah, light…that’s better. light in darknes

Cherish your quiet time with God. The truth you store up in silence, the light you glean from the pages, comes back to you in the storm. And some of you have a lot of storms.

Thankfully, you serve a loving Savior who walks on water and calms the storm.

 

 

 “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” Psalm 119:105 MSG